Skip To Content
Breaking News

Starbucks Chief Howard Schultz Backs Clinton — May Run Himself One Day

Some like their coffee black, some like it light. And now Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is officially going blue in the race for the White House.

The Jewish coffee shop magnate officially endorsed Hillary Clinton Wednesday, saying “it’s obvious (she) needs to be the next president.” In a business breakfast hosted by CNN Money, the Seattle-based CEO said that expressing his support for Clinton is not “a perfect situation” but that Trump’s side demonstrated “such vitriolic display of bigotry and hate and divisiveness, and that is not the leadership we need for the future of the country.”

Schultz is a lifelong Democrat who had endorsed President Obama in the past two election cycles, so the endorsement is not a huge surprise.

It is also not his first showdown with Donald Trump and his supporters. Last year, Starbucks’ decision to remove Christmas symbols from its holiday season coffee cups drew the ire of Trump, who suggest to boycott Starbucks.

The boycott idea quickly reemerged online Wednesday, as Trump supporters took to Twitter, using the hashtag #BoycottStarcuks to try and encourage Republicans to take their coffee business elsewhere.

While Schultz was never shy about making his political views on domestic issues known, he had carefully steered clear of taking any position regarding the Mideast conflict, despite attempts to draw Starbucks into the discussion.

In 2011, in light of the government shutdown, Schultz, through the organization No Label, led a drive to freeze all donations to political candidates until they pledge to reach a bipartisan agreement on spending and deficit reduction. He has since gone back to contributing to politicians, almost exclusively to Democrats.

Schultz’s endorsement of Clinton does not necessarily mean he does not have other thoughts about the future leadership of America. In his CNN interview, the Seattle coffee king, who grew up in a modest Brooklyn Jewish family, refused to rule out the possibility that he himself would be interested in running for president some day.

“I’m a young man who has a lot of time in the future,” Schultz said. “I would never say never, but this is not the right time.”

Contact Nathan Guttman at [email protected] or on Twitter @nathanguttman

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.